Cubs

"Doubleheader Friday" on CSN to include expanded, live White Sox-Tigers coverage!

"Doubleheader Friday" on CSN to include expanded, live White Sox-Tigers coverage!

"DOUBLEHEADER FRIDAY" ON COMCAST SPORTSNET TO INCLUDE EXPANDED, LIVE WHITE SOX-TIGERS COVERAGE!

Network to provide 10-straight hours of live, Chicago baseball-focused programming starting at 12:30 PM on Friday, August 31

Expanded Coverage for White Sox at Tigers game beginning at 4:30 PM; White Sox PrePost Game Live to take place from Comerica Park!

CSNChicago.com coverage highlighted by feature stories, talent blogs, in-game Twitter messages from Insiders & on-air talent and much more!

Chicago, IL (August 30, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, will deliver 10-straight hours of expanded doubleheader coverage on Friday, August 31 beginning at 12:30 PM (programming line-up details below). Plus, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more extensive doubleheader coverage, including feature stories, talent blogs, videos, game previewsrecaps and much more from Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney & White Sox Insider Dan Hayes. Note the following line-up from Comcast SportsNets Doubleheader Friday coverage beginning at 12:30 PM TOMORROW:

12:30 PM Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live Expanded pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan, Todd Hollandsworth and Gail Fischer LIVE from Wrigley Field.
1:20 PM CUBS vs. SAN FRANCISCO (L) Featuring Len Kasper & Bob Brenly with the game call.
4:15 PM Cubs Post Game Live, presented by Horseshoe Casino (time approx.) Hosted by David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth from the Comcast SportsNet studios featuring the LIVE post-game press conference featuring Cubs manager Dale Sveum, player interviews and complete game analysis.
4:30 PM Chicago Tribune Live presented by Smirnoff Hosted by David Kaplan, this special early edition of CTL will preview the huge White Sox-Tigers series, including analysis from Tribune writers, special guests from Comerica Park and much more!
5:30 PM White Sox Pre-Game Live LIVE from Comerica Park in Detroit! Hosted by Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton, this special remote of edition of White Sox Pre-Game Live will preview the evenings game and overall series; along with providing a detailed pitching analysis and position breakdown, plus commentary from CSNChicago.com White Sox Insider Dan Hayes (Twitter via @DanHayesCSN) and other special guests.
6:00 PM WHITE SOX at DETROIT (L) Featuring Ken Hawk Harrelson & Steve Stone with the game call.
9:00 PM White Sox Post Game Live, presented by Orland Park Nissan (time approx.) LIVE from Comerica Park in Detroit! Complete post-game analysis from Garfien & Melton, including the LIVE post-game press conference featuring White Sox manager Robin Ventura, along with player interviews and a preview of the series next two games. (NOTE: Garfien will continue to report on the final two games of the series at Detroit for both SportsNet Central & CSNChicago.com; fans can follow Garfien on Twitter at @ChuckGarfien)
9:30 PM & 10:00 PM GMC SportsNet Central Comprehensive White Sox-Tigers & Cubs-Giants recaps, highlights, interviews and much more from the entire day in sports.

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 14 local networks that deliver more than 2,400 sporting events annually along with breaking news and comprehensive analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, CSS, Comcast Sports Southwest, and Comcast SportsNet Houston (launching October 2012). NBC Sports Regional Networks also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nations largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, visit CSNChicago.com or ComcastSportNet.com.

Why did Kris Bryant get a first-place vote in this year's National League MVP balloting?

1117_kris_bryant.jpg
USA TODAY

Why did Kris Bryant get a first-place vote in this year's National League MVP balloting?

Kris Bryant was the 2016 National League MVP. And despite having what could be considered an even better campaign this past season, he finished seventh in voting for the 2017 edition of the award.

The NL MVP was awarded to Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton on Thursday night, a fine choice, though it was nearly impossible to make a poor choice, that's how many fantastic players there were hitting the baseball in the NL this season.

After Stanton, Cinicinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto finished second, earning the same amount of first-place votes and losing out to Stanton by just one point. Then came Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado, Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon and Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon ahead of Bryant.

But there was someone who thought Bryant deserved to repeat as the NL MVP. Yes, Bryant earned a first-place vote — as did everyone else mentioned besides Rendon, for that matter — causing a bit of a social-media stir considering the Cubs third baseman, despite his great season, perhaps wasn't as standout a candidate as some of the other guys who finished higher in the voting.

So the person who cast that first-place vote for Bryant, MLB.com's Mark Bowman, wrote up why he felt Bryant deserved to hoist the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award for the second straight year.

"In the end, I chose Bryant because I believe he made the greatest impact, as his second-half production fueled the successful turnaround the Cubs experienced after the All-Star break," Bowman wrote.

"Though I don't believe the MVP must come from a playoff contender, in an attempt to differentiate the value provided by each of these three players (Bryant, Votto and Stanton), I chose to reward the impact made by Bryant, who produced the NL's fourth-best OPS (.968) after the All-Star break, when the Cubs distanced themselves from a sub-.500 record and produced an NL-best 49 wins."

It's easy for Cubs fans and observers to follow that logic, as the Cubs took off after the All-Star break following a disappointing first half. As good as Bryant was all season long, his second-half numbers, as Bowman pointed out, were especially great. He hit .325 with a .421 on-base percentage and a .548 slugging percentage over his final 69 games of the regular season, hitting 11 home runs, knocking out 21 doubles and driving in 35 runs during that span.

Perhaps the craziest thing about this year's MVP race and Bryant's place in it is that Bryant was just as good if not better than he was in 2016, when he was almost unanimously named the NL MVP. After slashing .292/.385/.554 with 39 homers, 102 RBIs, 35 doubles, 75 walks and 154 strikeouts in 2016, Bryant slashed .295/.409/.537 with 29 homers, 73 RBIs, 38 doubles, 95 walks and 128 strikeouts in 2017.

Of course, the competition was much steeper this time around. But Bryant was given the MVP award in 2016 playing for a 103-win Cubs team that was bursting with offensive firepower, getting great seasons from Anthony Rizzo (who finished third in 2016 NL MVP voting), as well as Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist. While the Cubs actually scored more runs this season and undoubtedly turned it on after the All-Star break on a team-wide basis, Bryant was far and away the best hitter on the team in 2017, with many other guys throughout the lineup having notably down years and/or experiencing down stretches throughout the season. Hence, making Bryant more, say it with me, valuable.

So Bowman's argument about Bryant's impact on the Cubs — a team that still scored 822 runs, won 92 games and advanced to the National League Championship Series — is a decently convincing one.

Check out Bowman's full explanation, which dives into some of Bryant's advanced stats.

HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet

HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet

In the latest edition of HandiKapping presented by Xpressbet, NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan makes his picks for the weekend.

Kap made his picks with the help of Eddie Olczyk this week.